Alliance justice and relational performance : the mediating role of boundary spanners' citizenship behaviors

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-239
Journal / PublicationManagement Decision
Issue number2
Online published16 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the types of justice that affect knowledge acquisition and opportunism in strategic alliances and how these justice mechanisms function. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from both top-level and operating-level boundary spanners in 295 strategic alliances in China (a total of 590 boundary spanners). A structural equation model (SEM) with bias-corrected bootstrap method was used to test the hypotheses. Findings: The results show that although both procedural justice and distributive justice are important in deterring opportunism, procedural justice is more effective at enhancing knowledge acquisition than distributive justice is. The results also demonstrate that boundary spanners' helping behaviors are more effective at fostering knowledge acquisition, whereas boundary spanners' voice behaviors have more impact on mitigating opportunism. In addition, boundary spanners' citizenship behaviors partially mediate the relationship between justice and interfirm-level performance. Originality/value: This study adds a boundary-spanning lens to justice literature by uncovering the missing link between justice and alliance outcomes.

Research Area(s)

  • Boundary spanners, Citizenship behaviors, Distributive justice, Knowledge acquisition, Opportunism, Procedural justice